Jeffrey A. Crossman
JD from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law; MA from the University of Akron
Training and Experience:
Two Term State Representative and Two Term Parma City Councilman
What are the most important functions of the state attorney general and why?
The Attorney General is the chief legal officer for the state of Ohio. The AG’s office is vast. It represents state agencies, is looked upon as the “chief law enforcement officer” of the state and is supposed to look out for the interests of all Ohioans. I view the role of Attorney General as being the “people’s lawyer” who works to ensure Ohioans’ rights under the law.
What divisions (e.g. consumer protection, environment, civil rights, immigration) will you prioritize and why?
As Ohio’s next Attorney General, my priorities will be defending the rights and freedoms of all Ohioans, helping our economy grow, protecting workers and ensuring people can retire with safety and security. My office will defend women’s reproductive freedom and focus on protecting Ohioans’ civil rights–truly guaranteeing Equal Protection under the law. We also intend to institute a section designated with the responsibility of rooting out the corruption that has plagued our state government and holding wrongdoers accountable, something that has not been done by our current AG who let the owners of ECOT and First Energy fleece Ohio taxpayers without holding anyone accountable.
When is it appropriate to bring cases on behalf of the state to federal court?
Cases should be brought in Federal Court when it is necessary to protect and defend the rights of all Ohioans. Ohioans’ tax dollars should not be used to bring cases merely to support a political agenda.
As Ohio’s chief law enforcement officer, how will you remain nonpartisan while representing the diverse interests of all Ohioans?
As Attorney General I will pursue cases that are in the interest of all Ohioans–not just the persons who agree with me politically. The current Attorney General joins lawsuits at the behest of RAGA (Republican Attorney Generals Association) without regard for whether all Ohioans benefit from these lawsuits. This is why Ohio has joined lawsuits to overturn the 2020 election and challenged the USDA’s anti-discrimination policy for LGBTQ youth in the school lunch programs and other blatantly political lawsuits. This diverts attention and resources away from doing the people’s work on issues such as consumer protection, public corruption, civil rights, etc.
How will you use your role to impact the criminal justice system, including inequities?
As Attorney General I will use my powers to continue to pursue and prosecute malevolent actors while understanding that not every infraction of the law requires a strongest possible penalty. Too many people have been incarcerated for long periods of time for relatively minor nonviolent offenses and struggle to regain their footing in common society upon release from prison. I will also use the information available to the AG to assess differential sentencing outcomes and share this data with local prosecutors so they can be more informed while carrying out their duties. We can have a justice system in our state that continues to pursue bad actors to the full extent of the law without causing irreparable damage to the lives of decent people who may have made one mistake or committed a minor infraction.
State your position on women’s reproductive healthcare, pay equity, the ERA, and other rights.
Personal reproductive decisions should not be made by the government. Women deserve the freedom to determine what happens with their own bodies without the intrusion of the state, so I do not support Ohio’s extreme bans on abortion which limit access to needed healthcare and attacks everyone’s right to privacy. Women cannot be equal members of society if the ability to make decisions about their own bodies are dictated to by the government. The government should protect everyone’s civil rights, which means supporting equality. Men and women deserve equal pay for equal work. It is incomprehensible that women in Ohio earn 21% less on average than their male counterparts and this disparity is worse for women of color. Supporting the ERA would provide additional guarantees that civil rights for women are protected by the Constitution. I support Congress passing a resolution to codify this amendment and I favor initiating litigation to adopt it as an amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
State your position on government oversight of gun ownership and safety.
The state needs to play a positive role in creating safe, secure, and healthy communities. This includes instituting policies and programs that promote firearm safety. While the Second Amendment confers rights of firearm ownership, we can and should promote best practices that ensure safety and reduce violence in our communities at the same time. Popular initiatives such as universal background checks, safe storage laws, and modest waiting periods are worthy for consideration to ensure bad actors who should not own firearms do not easily obtain them, that firearms are safely stored to minimize risk of injury, all while continuing to support law-abiding firearm ownership.
State your position on the rights of LGBTQ individuals.
LGBTQ+ individuals are entitled to the same rights and privileges as every other citizen in the state. I have always viewed LGBTQ+ advocacy as a civil rights issue and I am committed to supporting LGBTQ+ citizens as equal members of our society. I have received an “A” rating from Equality Ohio, and I have received endorsements from organizations that advocate for Ohio’s LGBTQ+ community. My opponent, however, cannot say the same. He received an “F” rating from Equality Ohio and has joined lawsuits undermining LGBTQ+ rights for Ohioans, including a lawsuit challenging anti-discrimination policies implemented by the USDA for its National School Lunch Program.